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The Cave

I’m not quite sure why I hadn’t played this yet – I did get it when it first came out (on PS3), but for some reason hadn’t played much. Watching all of the Amnesia Fortnight videos put me in a mood to play it again, and I’ve been having such a good time with it. I love the aesthetics, the co-op aspect of playing 3 characters at the same time, and the levels/puzzles themselves are pretty fun and interesting. It’s out on iOS too now, but I can’t see that being better than playing with a proper controller, since the game does present itself as a platformer. Ron Gilbert was the lead on this, and you can definitely tell from the humor. 

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Outlast

Outlast is the latest free PS4 download we get through PlayStation Plus, and I was quite looking forward to trying it out. The one thing that had me worried though was how long I’d last, considering I sometimes have a hard time playing game that stress me out (stuff like Condemned, Dead Space, etc.) So far, I have jumped a few times, and it’s getting to a point where I’m just wondering how much fun I’m really having. But I do quite like that it’s not a shooter – you don’t fight (for the most part), and instead run and hide. And the fact that you’re walking around looking through a camera – and often using it in low-light mode – adds to the creepiness. I’m not done with it yet, but not sure if I’ll be able to play it to completion.

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Super Motherload

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Speaking of digging games (see SteamWorld Dig), strangely enough I’ve been playing another one, and that’s Super Motherload on PS4 (it’s a cross-buy game with PS3, and I grabbed it on sale last week). It boasts 4-player multiplayer, which I haven’t tried yet, but even just playing alone is really fun. I quite like the aesthetics – sort of a retro 80s illustrated look – and the story bits are pretty fun too. I’m glad I picked it up.

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Rain

I recently picked this up during the PSN supersale (I think it was around $3) and I’m glad I did. I think it got mixed reviews when it originally came out, but so far I’m really digging the atmosphere, and the look of the game. It’s a neat idea too, that you’re only visible when rain is falling on you, and I like how the levels play with that. 

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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

I was very much looking forward to playing this, and how great is it that it’s actually free right now if you’re a PS+ member. I first sat down with the plan to just start the game and get a feel for it, and two hours later I was still playing. I love everything about this game, from the lovely surroundings to the camaraderie that you feel coming from the two brothers to the weird controls – the idea is that you control both brothers simultaneously, using one analog stick for each. This not only creates an interesting dynamic, the clumsiness that ensues actually makes sense in the context of what is happening in the game (these 2 brothers traipsing along on their quest). This is absolutely one of my favorite games to have come out in 2013, and so I’m adding it to my big “Favorite Media of 2013” post – I’m replacing The Last of Us in my top 5 with it.

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Tales of Xillia

This is another game I grabbed in this week’s PSN sale, and it’s definitely scratching that JRPG itch I get every once in while. I’ve only played about an hour, so it’s of course too early to tell how much I’ll like this, but so far I’m certainly enjoying the beautiful visuals – some of the best cel-shading I’ve ever seen in a game. The battle system is pretty fun too – basically, what you expect from a Tales game. We’ll see how long I last.

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Puppeteer

I grabbed this on the crazy PSN sale this week (until tomorrow), and wow, this really is something special. I’m just astounded by the fantastic art direction, and how everything comes together in presenting something so original and unlike anything else out there. Yeah, it’s a platformer, but it ends up feeling like so much more thanks to the narration, great character designs, and fun mechanics – you often use giant scissors to cut your way through a level. You really need to grab this while it’s still on sale.

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Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force

I love pinball, I love Zen Pinball 2, and I especially love the Star Wars tables. I recently got the second set of SW tables that were released for the game, Balance of the Force, and wow. I truly believe that these are the best Star Wars games that have come out in years. I get such a charge from playing them, with the amazing music and sound/voice effects that really make me fall in love with the series all over again (yes, it is possible to wash away the bad taste from the prequels). And as much as I already loved playing these on PS3 and Vita, they are astoundingly beautiful on PS4. Also, note that although Zen Pinball 2 purchases are cross-platform (PS3/PS4/Vita), you need to buy them on PS3 or Vita and then import them in the PS4 version of the game – if you buy them in the PS4 version, you can’t access them in your PS3 or Vita versions of the game.

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DMC: Devil May Cry

This is currently free if you’re a PlayStation Plus member, so I’m finally getting around to playing it. Even though this is not usually a kind of game I seek out – combo fighters – I had been wanting to play it because it’s from Ninja Theory, and so I expected good things – I really do love Enslaved, a game I feel is greatly underrated, especially if you love adventure games. I’ve put in about an hour in DMC, and I’m having a blast so far. I don’t mind the new “emo” Dante, and yes, I loved the quip about the white hair being gone – fuck that white hair. I’m looking forward to playing more of this.

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NHL 14

I love hockey, and I love watching the Canadiens play – something I stopped doing for about 20 years, but got back into last year. The last time I remember really playing a lot of video game hockey is NHL 2K on the Dreamcast – we’d have hockey playing sessions in my living room, using a projector to screen the game on a wall. One of my friends is still an avid player of hockey games, and he’s been urging me to get back into it, and since NHL 14 was on sale recently at a crazy price of $15 on the PSN Store, I bit the bullet and jumped in. So far, I’m having an absolute blast. It took a few games to get used to the modern controls – using the analog sticks to aim and shoot – but once you’re into it, wow, is it ever fun. Although the Ultimate Team mode scares me a bit – basically, you build a team getting players as cards from packs, which you buy using in-game currency, or real cash – but the idea of it is really fun. I look forward to playing more of this online, and to hopefully get to a point where I can beat my friend.